It was during the German krautrock music scene of the late '60s that two young men, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider who had met while studying classical music at the Dusseldorf Conservatory, started their collaboration as the group known as
Organisation and so began their quest to change the music scene and create a different type of music that was unlike anything at the time. They released their first and only album in August 1970 titled “Tone Float”, after that they took the name Kraftwerk meaning “Power Plant” and released their self-titled album that same year with its pop-art imagery in the straight-faced manner of a Duchamp or Warhol. Their sound was pretty revolutionary for its time, and their imagery was shrouded in mystery, they made a big impact across the many genres of modern popular music. They had many changes in band members until they added
After the release of Ralf and Florian in1973 Klaus Roeder and Wolfgang Flür joined the band, between 1974-1981 Kraftwerk released five albums recorded at their studio Kling Klang name after a song from Kraftwerk 2 album. The first of which found immediate success and reached #5 on the charts in the US was Autobahn about a journey on the German–Austrian superhighway, this was followed by Radio-Activity in 1975 about radioactivity and the other half about activity on the radio and Trans Europe Express about celebrating Europe in mid 1976 which became a big “Disco” hit. In 1981 they released The Man-Machine with it chart topping single “The Model” that builds on Trans Europe Express. Computer world released in May 1981 with it themes of the rise of computers in modern society and its release of the track “Computer Love and “The Model” as double A side 12” single made the #1 on the UK charts.
The band use various electronic instruments to create their signature sound, and their use of the vocoder helped make great strides in popular Rock music, and inspired such musicians as David Bowie and Brian Eno. The band had a visual appeal with its pop-art imagery added to their instrumental music; they would dress up in mannequin outfits that gave them that robotic look to match their compositions, Kraftwerk’s albums had that
Conceptualistic image and their multi-lingual lyrical themes made them a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
As a listener Kraftwerk’s works have always inspired me I am big on the disco movement and their production inspired many funk group of the 70’s with their use of the vocoder, and as a professional their production is very useful to me for use in my production toolbox.